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News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz, Hoda Kotb. (2013) A teen's murder shakes a Nevada community, especially when two unlikely people make confessions. New. (CC) (Stereo)

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02:00:00

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Richmond, CA, USA

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Channel 100 (651 MHz)

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ac3

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1920

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1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Mickey Costanzo 19, Kody 14, Geico 7, Toni 7, America 6, Nevada 5, Micaela 5, West Wendover 4, Javier 4, Mickey 3, John Olson 3, At&t 3, Micaela Costanzo 3, Usaa 3, Patten 2, Pantene 2, Toyota 2, Turbotax 2, Zantac 2, Costanzo 2,
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  NBC    Dateline NBC    News/Business. Keith Morrison, Josh Mankiewicz, Hoda  
   Kotb.  (2013) A teen's murder shakes a Nevada community,...  

    January 4, 2013
    9:00 - 11:00pm PST  

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- hey! hey, you made us giant squids! - yeah. >> he would never hurt her. >> somebody made him do it. a high school track star disappears. >> in the bottom of my heart i knew something was really, really wrong. >> found dead in the desert, bound and broken. >> a great deal of rage by someone. >> by whom? >> he looked like your average high school student, tall, lean, clean-cut can, polite. >> but in this desert town maybe that was just a mirage. some said the clean-cut kid had another side. >> he would yell at her. he would be pushing her around.
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>> murder solved. another classmate was about to blow that idea apart. >> we recorded that conversation and that was dynamite. >> what secrets lurked in these high school hallways. >> she would just yell and holler and call her every name imaginable. >> and what really happened out here? >> a bad idea that became a horrible idea. bad idea that went very, very bad. "under the desert sky." ♪ ♪ welcome to "dateline," everyone. i'm lester holt. a lot of teenagers have stuff they keep from their parent, but not the girl you'll hear about tonight. she was a great student, star athlete that always used her cell to check in. something sinister at the local high school was uncovered and an entire town would wonder what some other good kid his really been up to.
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here's keith morrison. ♪ ♪ ♪ he waved at you for miles, the big neon cowboy. wendover will is what they called him and his job these last 60 years is to tempt travelers off interstate 80 in the utah-nevada border, with this tiny gash of high desert, casino commerce and leave lighter in the wallet. knowing precious little about the stories wendover love to tell about the racers that come here to break speed records at the nearby bonneville flats, and the plane that took off for hiroshima. but there's also the story they whispered to each other up and down the little strip, the one that shocked them all, that puzzles them still about the terrible night when three families lost their teenage children.
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about the dark mysteries spawned under the pointing grin of wendover will. ♪ >> it was a thursday afternoon. a windy, late winter day in the high desert, here at the local high school, star runner micaela costanzo cleaned up after track practice. mickey, as everyone called her, intended to walk home. wasn't far, about a mile. her usual ride, her sister christina was out of town. >> before we had left, me and/or my husband would always pick micaela up from school, and so we were, like, are you sure you're going to have a way home? >> this is something you do every day? >> this is something i do every day. it was the first time i left her. >> mickey was 16, a junior. clockwork reliable said her mother celia. >> micaela is not your typical teenager. that girl would check in witme all of the time.
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so we have a routine. i'm changing. i'm going to be heading out. i'm heading home. i'm home. >> always kept in touch. >> always. to a fault. >> as the sun began to set, celia was still working at one of the local casinos expecting mickey's usual check-in call. >> she did not call me to tell me track practice was over and she was getting ready. she didn't call me to tell me she was walking home, and so i started calling her phone, and it rang and rang and rang the first time, and then i called it right back because that was unusual, and it was like you hit the ignore button. this is so not her. >> now celia called christina 400 miles away in las vegas to see if she had heard from mickey. >> and i said, mom, she's probably at practice.
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and she says, no practice ended and she's not home. and i said calm down. you're probably just missing her. >> kristchristina tried calling mickey, too. no answer. >> i'm thinking, maybe for the first time in her life she's being a normal teenager. ♪ >> mickey was the youngest of celia's three girls. she was a star student and athlete, mature beyond her years. she loved to write poetry, short stories and she was pretty and very popular. >> she was the one out of all three of us girls that i'd say was just going down the path you would want any child to go down. she was doing it the right way, stereotypically. >> bright. talented, good looking. the trifecta. >> yes. she had it all. >> one of those special kids said celia, born happy. >> she was always positive.
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she just had a different approach to life. she found the good in everything, in everybody. >> a depressive personality she was not. >> no. oh, no. not at all. >> oh, and one more thing. mickey and d.j., her middle sister were inseparable. >> i'd consider us twins. everything we did we had to be together. if we weren't at the same place we always had to know where the other was at all times. >> but now nobody seemed to know where mickey was. it was getting dark in the desert. dark and cold. celia bolted out of work early and rushed home hoping to spot mickey on the way or find her at the apartment, but only d.j. was there. >> my mom came in and she said mickey's not here. where is she because this isn't funny. i immediately went out ask
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searched for her. called her friends, called my friends. if you hear from mickey, you need to tell me. >> word spread fast across wend ore. >> by the time i called the police there were over 80 people starting to look. the police asked me, did you check with all of her friends? did you go any place she would go? i'm, like, yes, and they're all panicked all out looking and everything. so they immediately knew something was wrong. >> reporter: the tiny west wendover police defendant ju department jumped on the case right away. donald burnham was in charge. >> there's no point in waiting. the longer you wait the bigger problem you have and the longer it will take to find them. >> hours now since mickey was due home. >> scared, upset, panic, worried because it was dark now and it was cold and she had no jacket
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and -- and in the bottom of my heart i knew something was really, really wrong. >> and you try to tell yourself, no, no, no, no, no. it it can't be. >> yeah. >> then the police had an idea. maybe mickey's cell phone, the one she always used to keep in touch would give them a clue. so they checked her most recent calls and there it was. one particular number that kept popping up just before mickey disappeared. . ten digits. would they lead detectives to mickey costanzo or something also altogether? [ pilot ] now when you build an aircraft,
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> day two. the deserts were cold over wendover, nevada. mickey costanzo had been missing for 12 hours. >> it was horrible. i didn't slope. i had to stay home in case micaela came home. >> and watch the door. >> and watch the door. they kept sayingio you have to stay home. this doesn't help. >> mickey's sister was angry, terrified and both. >> i called her phone real mad and said this isn't funny. you need to tell me where you are and what's going on. i just kept calling her phone. crying, begging her. please answer. please be okay. >> eldest sister christina in las vegas attending nascar races with her husband had been
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telling people, don't worry. she's just being rebellious. not anymore. >> i looked at my husband, and i said you need to take me home right now. he said what changed your mind? nothing happens in wendover and something did. >> by now in wendover it was a loeschingal media event. >> i just hope we find this little girl safe. i never thought anything like this would ever happen in wendover. >> everybody's sad, but that's just hoping. >> police were hoping, too, for a break. they had no solid clues. no eyewitnesses and nothing that pointed to mickey's whereabouts. >> i didn't believe she was dead. i was hoping maybe she was just somewhere and we would be able to find her at the time. >> that she'd gone off to be with a friend and been irresponsible for once. >> we didn't know whether she met with foul play or being restrained and held somewhere against her will and we didn't know if it was a runaway
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juvenile, but we didn't know how far it would have gone. >> police started talking to everyone who knew mickey like her boyfriend javier. ? >> how was she acting lately? >> she was acting pretty fine. if there was something wrong she would vent. she's not one of these girls that would put her emotions in her. >> could they believe the boyfriend? >> when they pulled her records something odd stood out at the very time she disappeared. >> there were a lot of texts and phone calls transpiring immediately after school and just up until 5:00. >> and then they stopped. >> abruptly stopped until the time she left the school. >> those calls and texts pinging off the local cell phone tower were all from one number. >> definitely having communication back and forth. >> there was something going. >> something. the last calls were made to a kody patten. >> kody patten? who was he?
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certainly not her boyfriend, but as anybody who was around wendover, kody was a friend. one of her oldest friends. >> they grew up together. >> did they ever date? >> micaela was not allowed to date until she was 16. i'm sure it was puppy love, what i call puppy love. >> kody was an 18-year-old senior at mickey's high school. he was a football player ask once lived in the same apartment complex as the costanzo family and now he was engaged with another girl and lived with his fiancee's parents. police brought kody in for a talk as well. >> last time i seen her was about 5:30. >> and that was where? >> at the school. >> she was with somebody? >> i thought it was her boyfriend because it was a -- >> her boyfriend being javier? >> yeah. kody wasn't sure it was javier, but he seemed and probably was exhausted. he'd been out the night before searching for mickey. >> do you have any questions for me? >> yeah.
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find her, please. >> search teams combed the desert outside of town. police, volunteers. mickey's sister, d.j. >> i remember i was out searching and i remember dropping on the ground and i said i really don't think she's alive. they're, like, you need to think positive. >> but where was she? she wasn't at school. she wasn't with a friend. she apparently wasn't in town, and it's a very big desert around wendover. so much space to get lost or to hold a person against her will or god knows, to hide a body. ♪ ♪ >> through her sleeplessness would hope to see mickey show up at school in the morning wondering what the fuss was about. >> when she didn't go to school friday morning i knew i wouldn't see my daughter alive.
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i felt like i failure as a parent. not just for micaela, but for d.j., too, because i couldn't make her better. >> i went to my mom's house, and i told her that i was going to go find my sister even though she's not okay, i will bring her home, and for whatever reason in my mind at that point i knew that i was going to find her, and i wasn't going to find her the way we wanted to, but that i was going to bring her home. >> all night christina roamed the rugged landscape alone. >> i stopped and looked at any little mound of dirt that looked weird, and i went to -- to the gravel pits. >> so close. had mickey called out, her sister would have heard her, but
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♪ ♪ day three. 36 hours since mickey costanzo left school and vanished. search teams prowled the desert beyond sight of wendover's neon casinos, faint hope. the empty basin sprawls 180,000 square miles and then saturday morning one of the searchers noted something that looked sort of odd out here in the middle of nowhere. fresh tire tracks veering off the dusty, desert road. he followed them. >> he stated he seen some stage brush that seemed disturbed that
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was covering some ground so he looked underneath the sagebrush and saw what he thought appeared to be blood and decided he needed to call the authorities. this is the area they call the gravel pits. police took the camera to record what they might find there. >> you move the sagebrush and gently dug into the area and found what we thought was part of a human body. >> did you just uncover the body then? no. no. we backed out of the area and contacted the crime unit to come in and exhume that area for evidence. >> crime scene investigators from -- >> reno. >> reno was 400 miles away, nine hours by car. still nothing more to do until they arrived so they sealed off the area and waited. just as mickey's sister christina, still searching, drove by. >> i just felt like your heart sink. i saw the unmarked police car driving on the gravel pit road
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that i was on the night before, and i just -- i just sunk. >> only one thing that could mean. >> so she rushed home and went to pick up her mother and went to see the police chief and he said, we've found a body. so we called off the search and i guess out of hope, i said, well, can you see her? and he said, no. i said, well, then you don't know it's her. he said, you're right, christina, but she's the only one missing so we're pretty sure it's her. >> but they couldn't know for sure, said the chief, until the forensics team arrived the next morning. >> and i said, you're going leave her out here again all night? he said, yes, we have to, and i remember saying then i'm not leaving. and he told us we had to, and he said i'll have somebody out here all of the time, and i said, it shouldn't be strangers.
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she shouldn't be left with strangers. so then to look at me and tell me we'll all be here. she won't be alone. made me feel pretty good. as good as you can feel. >> then police made it public. shallow grave was discovered. the contents of which are unknown. >> because the discovery was outside city limits, the case came out of the jurisdiction of the sheriff's department 110 miles away in nevada. detective kevin mckinney raced down i-80 and met the forensics team the next morning. >> we started sifting and it didn't take very long once it started. >> it was mickey. in a shallow grave, beneath a clump of sagebrush five miles from home. >> it was very emotional.
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the age of the victim and the brutality, i guess, disturbing would be the word. ♪ ♪ >> mickey had been beaten, cut, stabbed, repeatedly. >> several jagged slashes across her face, neck, head, the blood loss had saturated the ground underneath her. >> it was kind of personal. >> uh-huh. it was very aggressive. it was not a precision type of injury. >> and then those policemen had to go to mickey's family and tell them what they found. >> my heart sank to the pit of my stomach, and i screamed and i just dropped, and i just kept screaming. >> the one thing i will never, ever forget in my entire life is watching my daughter d.j. scream the scream i haven't heard from
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her even as a baby and fall to the ground in shock and disbelief. she physically did what i felt like i wanted to do, but i couldn't do it because i'm the mom, and i had to keep myself together. i had to be the strong one. >> and so she had a news conference and said what at this point everybody in town was thinking. >> please, ladies and gentlemen, this is not over yet until the person or persons responsible for brought to justice. >> but why mickey of all people? not an enemy in the world, at least as far as anybody knew, and yet here at the crime scene, one clue. one weird, awful clue. >> there was a zip tie that was bound around her wrist. >> what did that say to you? >> it indicated to me that she
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was restrained and was likely taken from the school. >> somebody kidnapped her with unimaginable brutality, but how and why? then another clue. one of the officers going through surveillance videos from the school found the grainy image of mickey just outside the girls' locker room and she wasn't alone. like a lot of things, trying to find a better job can be frustrating. so at university of phoenix we're working with a growing list of almost two thousand corporate partners - companies like microsoft, american red cross and adobe - to create options for you. not only that, we're using what we learn from these partners to shape our curriculum, so that when you find the job you want you'll be a perfect fit. let's get to work. is a fantastic experience. 30 shrimp for $11.99. i can't imagine anything better. you're getting a ton of shrimp, and it tastes really good!
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♪ ♪ now the tv trucks roared in from salt lake and all around northern nevada, poking about in little west wendover, demanding an answer. exactly what happened to that perfect daughter, that pretty and popular 16-year-old mickey costanzo? justice demanded an answer. the police chief supplied a non-answer for the evening news. >> we don't have a suspect and we don't have a person of interest, but we are getting leads all of the time. >> but we can tell you now there were a couple of things about the murder the chief did not disclose when he spoke to the media. it's true there were no hairs or fibers or fingerprints pointing to any particular suspect, but there was a person of interest. >> we started doing a little digging. we went back to the school. we obtained some video surveillance. >> remember what mickey's friend kody patten said he saw her
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leaving the school with someone whom he assumed was her boyfriend javier. mickey was indeed with someone. >> prior to mickey leaving the school we saw kody patten leave the same doorway. kody patten, that's the someone she was with. kody, the childhood friend who had been calling and texting with mickey just before she disappeared. >> kody patten was probably the last person who had seen her due to the fact that she left through the southwest doors and he was in that area. >> why didn't kody tell him that. the detectives went to mickey's mother celia to find out more about kody. >> kody is a very interesting young man. kody could be the sweetest person in the world and then turn right around and not be okay. kody has a tough temper. kody has a hot temper. >> kody had been struggling at
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school and at home with his parents, so much so that kody left and moved in with his fiancee, toni fratto and her parents, kasse and claude, mormon family. very devout. >> i just wanted to extend a hand to him to help him get through school. >> we became his second family, and more importantly, we were really invested in his success. >> but you really cared for him, right? >> of course. >> yes. he was like a son to me. >> but when the police asked to talk to kody yet again, it wasn't claude fratto, but his actual father kipp patten who was brought into the station. >> he looked like your average high school student to me. tall, lean, clean-cut, polite. very self-confident. >> did you sleep okay last night? >> why not? >> i've slept horrible since mikki went missing.
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>> how come? >> it's one of my friends. >> kody rehashed the story he told the cops a few days earlier how he'd been calling and texting mickey asking for help to move some car parts and then he saw her walking toward the front door of the school. >> i said, okay, are you all right? she said yeah. i'm fine. okay, well, no worries. have a good one. all right. >> he had seen her at the front of the school with her boyfriend and everyone else had last seen her exiting out the back of the school. >> not to mention the security camera that showed mickey walking toward the rear exit. no one else around, but kody himself. >> so what are you getting at? >> what i'm getting at is you're not being totally truthful with us. >> yes, i am. >> no, you're not. >> there was no getting around it. >> video doesn't lie. >> the video from the school
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indicates to us that you were waiting for her. >> i wasn't. >> because that was the time she disappeared and that was the time she died. and you were involved. >> i wasn't involved in her death. >> i think you were. >> i did not kill micaela costanzo. >> i don't think you planned on it. i don't think you intended to. >> i didn't. >> and then kody asked if he could spend a minute alone with his dad. so the detectives left the room and kody's father kip went in, closed the door. what happened in there? couldn't tell exactly through the door, but it didn't sound happy. not at all. mine was earned off vietnam in 1968. over the south pacific in 1943. i got mine in iraq, 2003. usaa auto insurance is often handed down from generation to generation. because it offers a superior level of protection,
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[ men grunting ] open! ♪ three days after mickey costanzo's brutalized body was unearthed in the desert, a family tragedy of a different kind was playing out in the wendover police department. mickey's childhood friend kody patten had asked for a few minute alone with his father kip behind a closed door. >> i didn't hear what was said, but at one point i heard some wailing from the father. i could hear him yell. it sounded to me like he was crying. >> and then a few minutes later the detectives walked back into the interview room. >> his father told him he needed to tell us what happened. >> be a man. >> uh-huh. >> no telling what a lawyer might have told young kody patten, but this was a father who had just heard the worst news of his life from the lips of his own son and so here is
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>> you got to start fixing this now as much as you can -- what you did is heinous, kody. i don't want to abandon you at all, okay? you've got to do what's right for micaela as well. >> and this is what kody told them. that he picked up mickey at the school and when they started driving that mickey insisted kody break up with with his fiancee toni fratto and date her, instead. that when he refused -- >> she -- started yelling at me and she said that it's because i'm not leaving toni and then she started pounding on my chest and stuff. >> by this time, said, kody, they were out of the car. out of the desert. she hit him, he said and then he pushed her. >> she fell down and hit her head and she just laid there and
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was looking at the sky and, like, her eyes started to turn black. and i didn't know what to do. i just sat there and she started to, like, shake and seize. >> kody insisted he tried to check her pulse and got nothing and then he said she started flopping so he grabbed a shovel from the car, and i tried to hit her on the head, right here somewhere, trying to just knock her out and it hit like, right here and it -- tore it up pretty bad. >> he was very tearful. we had to stop several times to allow him to gain his composure back. a couple of times he told us he was getting physically ill while he was describing details to us. >> kody continued saying he panicked to stifle the sound he
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cut her throat. >> and then she stopped. i didn't know what to do. i was going to call my dad, but i knew that he would freak out. so i -- put her in the little grave thing i dug by the big bush, and i covered her up and i took the clothes over in the gravel pit area and burned them. >> he stated he was a own and with micaela and he never indicated anyone was present or aware of it. >> he did it alone. did he tell anybody why? >> no, he did not. >> they arrested kody then, cuffed him, charged him with murder. he intended to join the marines after high school. now he could face the death penalty. >> patten has been enrolled as a student in the west wendover junior senior high school and has been attending until the time of his arrest. >> it was after he confessed, after they'd put him in jail
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that kody finally hired an attorney. john olson, his specialty is keeping accused killers off death row, but kody, unlike some of olson's other clients didn't seem at all like a crazed killer. >> you obviously got to know him well. >> what sort of family did kody have? >> nice family. they're working people. they seemed to be fairly close. they did a lot of things together. >> of course, that's kody's attorney talking, but even mickey's family, the very people you'd expect would demand the death penalty, in fact, felt quite a different emotion. >> i was completely shocked. it's not the person that i knew, and my husband was there when i said kody didn't do this. he would never hurt her, and he says, babe, he did, and i said -- then somebody made him do it.
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♪ it was, everybody said, a measure of mickey costanzo's sunny personality, her sweet goodness that they had to rent wendover's 1,000-seat concert hall to make room for her funeral. she was, people said, everybody's daughter. >> this entire town suffered as if this town was her parent. [ indiscernible ] >> we can see how many people loved her like we did. >> and one by one they wept as they said good-bye and remembered micaela so cruelly murdered as the ideal young woman, the pride of west wendover high. >> she was many things to many people, a friend, a fellow
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student, a teammate and an inspiration. >> in fact, perhaps the only friend who didn't attend the public funeral didn't witness its outpouring of emotion and grief was one of her oldest playmates kody patten. kody, of course, was in a jail cell awaiting trial for murdering her. naturally, a lot of people in town had come to see that boy as evil incarnate, the villain who had snuffed out the life of their princess and yet, even to mickey's family it was more puzzling than that. it was simply inexplicable. >> he would never hurt her. i don't understand why he ended up confessing to it. i'm still, like, there's something more to this story. ♪ >> more, partly because kody's story of what happened just didn't make any sense especially that bit about how mickey demanded kody dump his fiancee toni and date her, instead. impossible said celia.
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mickey had her own steady boyfriend and out of respect for toni, had been going out of her way to avoid getting anywhere near kody. >> micaela never liked confrontation. she did not like drama. she hated drama. if it was going to cause an issue she would stay away. ♪ >> anyway, everybody knew about kody and toni's engagement and saw them flash their engagement rings. he, the 6'6" soon-to-be marine and she made it her business to tame his temper and set him on the road to righteousness. she even persuaded him to convert to the mormon church. >> she was determined to be kody's savior, if you will. >> the person that helped him to graduate. >> she was going make him happy. >> helped him be happy. the person that helped him -- >> she took that responsibility. >> she would help him to get into the marines.
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>> she encouraged that. she encouraged him to do his school work and she encouraged him to keep on track to graduate and she encouraged him to try and be a better person. >> now the man toni so badly of theed to save was facing the death penalty and she stuck by him, sent him love letters and promised to be faithful and true and drove to the jail and this being jail, those calls were recorded. >> not to see you every day and talk to you, like, things to think and everything. um, hold you in my arms or anything. it's just hard. >> yeah. i know. it's hard for me, too. it really is. >> toni's parents visited kody sometimes to provide support and also to ask a particular question. >> i said, i don't understand this. why did you do this?
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why did this happen? and he just said, i don't know. i can't tell you anything. i don't know. >> but by now kody's lawyer had told him stop talking. >> tough case. real tough case. >> because the chances of his getting the death penalty were quite high. >> i think they were very high. it was the identity of the victim. it was the brutality of the killing. it was the boyipoinnancy of the photographs in the case, it would break your heart. >> not to mention kody's confession that made mounting a defense, all, but impossible. >> i think he regretted doing that because the confession early on was the strongest piece of evidence against kody. what kody had in mind when he told them that he was involved in the killing or that he did the killing, god knows. >> but the more he studied kody's confession, the more olson came to believe just like
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mickey's family did that something about it didn't add up. so olson hired a seasoned investigator, a former secret service agent named bill savage. asked him to find out what he could about kody, the murder and that boy's confession. >> some of the details that mr. patten reported didn't quite pass the sniff test to me. >> mickey's wounds, for example, they certainly didn't seem to be the result of an accident as kody had claimed or from a sh l shovel of all things. >> horrible, slicing disfigurement to mickey's face. >> what did that say to you? >> a great deal of rage by someone. >> why would kody had done that to a childhood friend? there had to be more to the story.
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he wondered if kody's fiancee, toni fratto would provide more information. >> i was kind of curious, like where is mickey? what's going on, you know? where could she have gone? >> so, olson spoke to toni himself. did she have any idea why he -- >> absolutely none. no idea. >> was she as devastated as other people seemed to have been? >> i would describe her aspect as dead pan. i would describe her as emotionless. >> how did that strike you? >> odd. very odd. >> mickey's sister d.j. also remembered how after the murder toni just seemed to shut down. >> she refused to look at me. refused. >> i understand that you're not going to be social because it's your significant other doing this, but she wouldn't talk to certain people anymore that she
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normally would. >> who knew what wheels were turning in that young woman's brain and then early one spring morning in april toni fratto climbed into a car with kody's father, kip patten and she didn't tell her parents. kody was wearing just her pajamas and brought nothing with her as if she assumed she'd never be coming back. did you know when heartburn, it's too late to take prilosec because... but it's but zantac® works differently. it relieves heartburn in as little as 30 minutes. in fact, so, when heartburn strikes, try zantac® this has been medifacts for zantac® so, when heartburn strikes, try zantac® go olive garden's 2 for $25 italian dinner.
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remote border town has been rocked by the murder of one of its brightest young stars, a pretty, athletic high school junior. r killer, one of her olest friends whose confessed, but some say his story doesn't quite add up, and now the victim's family is about to realize that when it comes to that terrible night in the desert they literally don't know the half of it. again, keith morrison. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> it was one of mickey
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costanzo's favorite places, the high school track where she won so many races. now on a bright spring day in may 2011, two months after her murder, a somber celebration was under way here. it would have been mickey's 17th birthday. >> i bought a cake, balloons, took it down to the high school, invited her friends and that was the hardest day next to finding out she was murdered. >> apparently murdered by a childhood friend, kody patten. he'd confessed at the city jail the death penalty, a distinct possibility or so everyone thought, but as they celebrated mickey's life, was there something about her death they didn't know. several days earlier kody's legal team had a surprise visitor.
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kody's fiancee, toni fratto. she arrived wearing her pajamas and with kody's father at her side said she was ready to tell the lawyers the story. >> so are you willing to proceed? >> i think so, yeah. >> we talked and we recorded that conversation with her permission and it was dynamite. >> you're about to hear a whole new version of mickey's murder and would turn the case upside down. >> am i to believe that you, in fact, were present when the girl got killed? >> yes. >> and here, from the lips of this quiet little teen came a horrifying story. kody wasn't the only killer. it began for her, she said, with a text from kody meaning i have her. meaning mickey was in an suv and wanted kody to join him. kody picked her up and the three
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drove around, ending up at the gravel pits. then mickey and kody got out of the car and she started yelling at him and then pushing him. >> i looked away just for, like, a split second and then heard, like a loud thus on the car or whatever. so i had got out to see what happened. >> what did you see that had happened? >> micaela was on the ground, and she wasn't really moving at that point. >> she said kody started digging what appeared to be a grave and when he finished with mickey lying semiconscious on the ground they both started kicking her, punching her, hit her with a shovel. >> she wasn't moving, and so we had moved her to the grave, and then we were kind of standing there deciding what -- what -- what do we do?
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we didn't know what really, we had just done. i remember, like, holding down her legs and, um, we had slit her throat. >> who cut her throat? >> it was both of us. >> it was both of us. words that changed anything. toni fratto freely admitting that she had also murdered mickey. >> all of a sudden it changed from one crazed killer to two people who committed a homicide. it gave us something to point the case towards other than kody's acts. >> two killers sharing the guilt. maybe with some good lawyering his client could escape the death penalty after all. why toni said those things was almost beside the point for olson, anyway, but not for
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toni's patierents, not when the found out. >> no one that knows toni would have ever seen this coming. it just isn't possible. ♪ ♪ >> their dater hadn't even been a suspect, not even a person of interest. now she confessed herself into a murder that could send her to death row. she's been coerced into saying this. >> somebody made her do it. >> yes. >> yeah. >> what person popped into your head? >> kody's dad. >> kody's father, kip patten, the man who delivered toni to kody's lawyers, denied a request to appear on the program, but toni insisted and it was her idea to meet with kody's attorneys. he just drove her there because toni's parents were out of town. >> do you think sometimes that she thought i can't do this with
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my parents present. i have to wait until they're gone before i can go and confess to this terrible thing? >> i don't know. possibly so, but we've always been very, very open. >> or possibly a misguided attempt to save kody? but she'd only succeeded in incriminating herself. >> she doesn't believe that she's confessing to the law enforcement. she's talking to kody's attorneys, asking them if it's going to help. >> but toni didn't have an attorn attorney-client relationship with kody's lawyers, no protection. so they turned it over to law enforcement and when the detective donald burner reviewed the transcript of toni's confession. >> and we determined we had probable cause to arrest her just based on her own admission. toni fratto just 18 was booked, held without bail, facing perhaps a capital murder charge, same as kody. >> i, in my heart of hearts knew
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toni had something to do with it because they were a couple. it was very hard for me to know she was at school wearing his engagement ring, acting like nothing had happened and she knew nothing about it when i knew she knew. i said, i am so glad that she is now sitting and facing what he is. now -- now it makes sense. >> but little toni fratto hardly seemed like a killer. she was a beauty queen at 13. west wendover junior miss, in fact, devoutly religious, too, and extremely close to her parents. >> she always went to church with us. a lot of kid, you have to force them to get out of bed and go. it was never that way with toni. >> she had goals in her life. she knew exactly where she wanted to go. >> a truly responsible child. >> yes. absolutely. >> outside of her family, toni had very few friends, except ko kody, of course. from the moment they started dating in the ninth grade they
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were virtually inseparable. >> she loved him. she thought she loved him. >> he was very, very possessive. did not like her time taken up by anyone else but him. ♪ >> now the frattos remembered a possessive, controlling kody, so big and strong and when they thought about it that way they wonder, what was the real story behind their daughter's confession? [ male announcer ] playing in the nfl is tough. ♪ doing it with a cold, just not going to happen. vicks dayquil -- powerful non-drowsy 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪ no matter what city you're playing tomorrow. [ coughs ] [ male announcer ] you can't let a cold keep you up tonight. ♪ vicks nyquil -- powerful nighttime 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪
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6-symptom cold & flu relief. let'for an idea.s - a grand idea called america. the idea that if you work hard, if you have a dream, if you work with your neighbors... you can do most anything. this led to other ideas like liberty and rock 'n' roll. to free markets, free enterprise, and free refills. it put a man on the moon and a phone in your pocket. our country's gone through a lot over the centuries and a half. but this idea isn't fragile. when times get tough, it rallies us as one. every day, more people believe in the american idea and when they do, the dream comes true. we're grateful to be a part of it.
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elko, fef neve, gold rush town, casinos, brothels, good business according to police. nearby, there's also an historic courthouse, the stage for preliminary hearings for the teenagers accused of that brutal murder that so far, not a single person could explain. least of all mickey costanzo's mother celia. before the hearing she studied every grisly photo and braced herself for what was coming. >> i had to know exactly what happened to my daughter. everything. >> no matter how bad. >> everything. every autopsy photo that was taken of my daughter i saw. . i saw it all because i did not
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want to go into a courtroom and see my daughter like that for the very first time. there were separate hearings for toni and kody, two occasions for celia to hold up under questioning. >> he's right over there and he's in a red jump suit. >> two occasions to hear emotional and incriminating confessions. >> i tried to, like, check her pulse and stuff. and i couldn't get anything and she was just flopping. >> kody, no surprise, was bound over for trial of which everyone knew he could face the death penalty and toni, pahl pale andt of her dark blue jump suits, toni listened to excerpts of her quite stung cning confession. >> after that she wasn't really breathing or anything, and so we kind of just stood there. we were crying because we didn't know what we had just done. >> it was brutal. it was painful.
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it was long. it was torturous, and those two could not ever get away with it. they could not walk away free. >> but people couldn't help, but notice that the two kids told very different stories. remember, kody said he was alone while toni insisted she was with him and they murdered mickey together. toni's parents simply couldn't believe despite her confession that their sweet, diminutive daughter was capable of such a monstrous act? can you imagine her doing those things, perhaps striking with a shovel or with a knife? >> i don't believe she did anything with the knife. no fingerprints, no dna. >> the striking her with the shovel was an order from kody. >> an order from kody.
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that was the answer to the questions to the frattos and behind it, a terrible secret. over the years, said the frattos, cody had given toni lots of orders. he was extremely possessive, and more than a foot will taller than little toni and was often angry and abusive. >> he would yell at her. he would be pushing her around. he would be restraining her, throwing her down. >> in fact, just two months before mickey's murder the school surveillance camera caught an agitated kody appearing to get rough with her at her locker. >> there was an instance that occurred in the hallway at wendover high school that depicts kody grabbing toni around the neck and realizing he's 6'6", he's 5'1", but toni declined to file charges. her explanation was that if something like this happens he will not be accepted into the marines and i don't want to
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stand in the way of that. >> you have to realize what her goals were and her expectations and her final result of all of this was to get him into the marines. >> and perhaps get him out of her life? now after the murder and toni's confession, the frattos looked back on their daughter's relationship with kody with new eyes. toni, they decided, was an abused woman. >> she was living in fear of what she thought the repercussions would be if she brought it out. >> so hefearing kody might kill her, too, kody's parents insisted their daughter had no choice, but to cooperate with kody, the murderer. >> her participation, as people say, in what happened that night was strictly out of fear, controlling, manipulation and orders by the one that she had already been suffering abuse
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from for two years, three years. >> but she participated in the attack. >> participated. participated under extreme -- >> orders. >> -- orders. she was afraid that she would be the one lying next to micaela if she did not follow his orders that evening. >> to which kody's attorney john olson responded. >> baloney. >> why do you say that? >> baloney. there's no one in their relationship ever that would indicate that she was ever abused by kody. >> even so, toni fratto was bound over for trial and was sitting in a jail cell facing the daunting suspect of losing her life, not to kody patten, but to lethal injection unless, what if toni told a whole news story about her role in mickey costanzo's murder. a story that might eventually
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yeah. okay either of you put together the earnings report yet? yes, me totally. 100%. what? you're fast. why don't you tackle the next quarter and um, you eat yet? polynesian? pu pu platter? yes! keep up the good work. i will keep up the good work. do more with the new samsung galaxy note ii. for a limited time get two flipcovers for the price of one. exclusively at verizon. oh hi, yes. wow you really went all out on the decorations, huh? yeah, but i'm so slow taking them down after all the fatty holiday food. but that's normal. what do you mean that's normal? it doesn't have to be. to me normal means feeling good inside. not slow. try some activia. activia helps with occasional irregularity when eaten three times a day. keep a video diary and let me know about your new normal.
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♪ ♪ christmas time in west wendover, nevada. mickey costanzo had been dead for nine months. >> christmas day, it was not fun for me. ♪ ♪ >> she was missing. it's not the same. and i don't ever think that's going to go away. i used to enjoy going and buying everybody christmas presents and wrapping them up and it wasn't the same. and then having to remember not to buy her something. >> kody patten and his fiancee toni fratto spent the holidays in jail awaiting trial.
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on new year's eve, kody turned 20. early in 2012 a legal deal emerged. kody would plead guilty to first-degree murder, get life and prison, but with the possibility of parole, no death penalty and in exchange he'd have to testify against toni. kody took the deal and just as suddenly changed his mind. instead, kody decided to take his chances in court, but just one day later, the d.a. offered toni a deal, not the same deal. better. if toni agreed to testify against kody she'd be allowed to plead to second-degree murder with the chance of parole after just 18 years. by then toni would be just 36, and toni offered a chance to save her own skin by throwing kody under the bus said yes. she signed the plea papers right away. >> she said, you know what? enough is enough.
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the truth needs to be told, and i'm going to tell it. so on a chilly, january day, toni fratto was led from her jail cell to an office of the sheriff's department to tell her story and put her hand on the bible and promised to tell the truth. >> i'm a person to tell the truth. and deep down, i wanted people to know the truth because i knew -- i knew kody wasn't going to come forward to tell the complete truth. >> for the next three and a half hours toni told a whole new story about how kody was upset with mickey. how he hated the sound of her voice. how things were building up and then the tale of the story that did not change. the afternoon of march 3rd, that text from kody, one of over a hundred the two exchanged that day. police weren't able to recover any of them, but this one, said toni, was burned in her memory.
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>> what was the content of it? >> all it said was i have her. >> from here, the story changed and blame shifted toward kody. as they drove off into the desert, said toni, she looked back and saw mickey stuffed in the back section of the suv and mickey looked scared, said toni, with her hands up to her face. code i looked determined and angry, she said and wouldn't talk to her. as they approached the gravel pits, said toni, kody right beside her in the driver's seat sent her a text and it said we have to kill her. just kind of looked at him and kind of lipped, well, why? kody pulled over, said toni and ordered her to stand guard as he dug a hole and he took mickey from the car and pushed her from the ground and demanded that toni hit her. >> all i remember is him pulling her hair back and i went up and
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had hit her in the face. >> in this new and entirely different version of her story, toni claimed she was an unwilling participant and insisted she backed off while kody started punching and kicking mickey and then he issued an order. >> i remember looking up at kody and him telling me, hit her with the shovel. hit her with the shovel, and so i hit her in the back of the shoulder with a shovel. >> she said kody took the shovel back and whacked mickey on the head and then in the hole he dug, kody got on top of her, and i remember going up and holding her legs down so that she'd stop kicking and then all of a sudden her legs went completely still and she wasn't moving. and that freaked me out, so i backed off and jumped up and walked off a little bit. remember, in her first
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confession, toni claimed she'd help cut mickey's throat. not anymore. her new story, kody used the knife alone while she, horrified, then backed off, but kept watching and listening. >> she had looked up at kody and asked am i still here? am i still alive? and then kody ordered her to get in the car, she said, and sitting by herself, toni said she heard the last sounds of mickey costanzo's life and then she said it was over. kody buried mickey by herself. once in the car, according to toni, they drove back into town and went to mcdonald's for a cold drink and then later they cruised across the state line into utah, pulled off into the desert and burned mickey's clothes and belongings. >> you can't tell me to this day why this happened? >> no. >> he never told you that? >> no. >> and with that, toni had her
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deal. this one statement she provided would now comprise much of the d.a.'s case against her fiance, kody patten. in this new version of her story, kody was the killer and orchestrated the whole thing and she, terrified of kody's murderous rage was forced to go along for the awful ride. not at all like her original confession, but was there more to toni's story? well, maybe, because just before she was arrested toni left something behind. something in her very own words that just might reveal the real motive for mickey costanzo's murder. ♪ [ female announcer ] no more paper coupons.
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the final technique in law enforcement, got two defendants that wanted to take a deal to taf against the other. it looked like that was about to work in the case of the west wendover murder of mickey costanzo. toni fratto appeared all set to tell the world that her fiancee, kody patten, after abusing her for years, forced her to witness and even in a minor way assist in the killing. apparently, like everybody else, she didn't know why kody did it, only that she, toni feared he'd kill her too, if she didn't go along. >> the question on the lips of every breathing, living soul in wendover, the idea that kody would brutally murder a
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childhood friend didn't make any sense, and that toni would go to such trouble to visit kody in jail and whisper sweet nothings if she was deathly afraid of him as she claims. people had given up on the idea on getting any kind ever an answer, when suddenly out of the blue a little gift appeared. toni, had been keeping a diary. >> before she confessed, toni gave it to kody's parents who turned everything over to defense investigators bill savage. >> in my opinion there was some valuable information in there with regard to toni's personality, her feelings. in this little book, toni poured out her fears, her hopes, her deep insecurities and what kody's attorney thought was just perhaps a motive for murder. this, for example. she worried that kody would leave me for someone else.
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cheat on me, but kody and i won't last forever. we won't get married. in here she wrote of her own terror that her relationship with kody wouldn't work out, and if so, was there no point in living. i'm very angry today. so angry that i'm trying to overdose after i got off the phone with kody, i went and took four aspirins. >> in my opinion, a very troubled young lady. >> a troubled young lady who, in many ways, did not feel worthy, i gather. >> that's correct. >> and who loved this guy, but at the same time was terrified of losing him. >> yes. >> afraid of losing him to the girl he had grown up with, the attractive and popular mickey costanzo. we might as well break up so he can get back together with her. he will be happier and can see her a lot. a lot more than he will ever see me. they're perfect for each other. >> toni was jealous of mickey, and if she were out of the
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picture then kody and toni would be together. >> she was everything toni wasn't. >> yes. absolutely. >> they would be so happy together if i didn't steal him away. i know in my heart he really doesn't love me. >> the diary disclosed a real animosity that toni had for micaela. >> right. >> no one's ever shown me any reason that toni had to hurt micaela, but none. >> but toni? >> toni had reasons. >> was it possible she was the one that wanted mickey dead? that her big, strong boyfriend was just doing what she wanted? mickey's sisters remembered. >> toni used to get so upset if micaela was seen talking to kody and she would just yell and holler and say horrible things to micaela, you know. don't talk to him and call her every name imaginable.
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>> an intensely jealous young woman said d.j. >> he couldn't be around girls especially my sister, but he couldn't go do certain things. she couldn't go do certain things and if one thing that the other didn't like it was world war iii. >> and kody was, said, christina, on a very tight leash. >> i must have been doing laundry or something and here kody came walking and said gotta go. i said you can't even talked to me. no, gotta go. she'll get mad. >> who was the driving force in that relationship? >> she was. >> having heard toni's sworn statement, kody knew his client's story of mickey dying after some sort of accident sounded like the cover-up for a cold-blooded murder and therefore that toni's testimony could send kody who was still facing trial, to death row. >> part of toni fratto's statement and what she said that
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at some point in time at this killing micaela sat up in the grave and said to kody, am i still here? can i go home? >> devastating. >> yeah. >> which is why, just weeks before the trial kody decided to plead guilty to first-degree murder. >> that was the safest way to go. that was the way that would present at least a possibility that kody would see daylight again, and that would take the death penalty off the table. >> at kody's sentencing in front of a packed courtroom he made his case for eventual parole, pleading with the judge for mercy and begging mickey's family for forgiveness. >> the unimaginable pain. >> kody spoke publicly about his fiancee and the woman he protected, and never revealing she was at the crime scene. listen to what he said now. >> to the court, i just want to
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say this -- i don't bear all of the blame. >> did you hear that? toni was not all to blame. >> was kody implying that she played a role in at least some or most of the horrific stab wounds to mickey's pretty face. >> there's no reason and no why -- justification for it. i did it. sorry is not enough, but i -- i -- i apologize for everything. >> moments later, his sentence, a chance at parole after maybe 25 years. >> i sentence you for a term of
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life in the nevada department of corrections. there shall be no possibility of parole. >> it was justice, said mickey's family. but an odd feeling lingered. >> you have to sit there and go -- e on, my god. this person that i knew so well will never, ever have a chance at anything. >> you're conflicted. >> i see the good in him. i see what he did. i want him to be punished for what he did, but i see that good side of him. >> both kody and the prison where he'll spend his life turned down our request for an interview, but toni fratto, different story. toni had a lot to say about that dark night in the nevada desert and just what really happened to her romantic rival mickey costanzo.
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♪ ♪ ♪ toni fratto, the ex-junior
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miss beauty queen was a tiny wisp of a girl in a prison suit when they brought her to see us. >> i'm keith. >> we'd arranged our meeting in a small courtroom not too far from her cell. the sheriff's people agreed to let her mother watch from an adjoining room, separated by a thick, plate glass window. she could hear us, we could not hear her. so two lines of communication. ours with toni, hers silently with her mother. >> we began by talking about kody, the fiance she seemed so afraid to losing to mickey costanzo. >> there are people who say that you were very jealous and that you manipulated him into committing murder. >> i was not jealous of micaela. yes, that one thing that i had wrote in my diary, but that was way long early in our relationship.
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it never was brought up again. nothing ever recent. >> did you ever say to him get rid of her? get rid of her or you lose me? >> no. >> didn't say it's her or me? >> no. >> didn't give him that choice? >> absolutely not. >> and then we talked about the night of march 3, 2011. when she and kody took mickey to the desert and ended her life. in your memory, what does that feel like inside? >> my heart just sinks and, you know, to be honest, it's, like, it takes my breath away. it's hard to breathe and everything. it's not something, you know, you want to sit there and think about. >> there are differing stories so that's why i have to ask these questions. and you hit her with a shovel. >> yes.
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>> why? >> because i was told to. i did not want to do anything to her and everything, and he kept telling me over and over again. just do it. it's okay. just do it, and then i just remember him putting her down and him standing over her. >> she was struggling trying to get free. >> right. >> then you backed off. >> yes. i don't know what he was doing up towards the top of her body. i could not see because he was standing in the way. >> and she insisted and contradiction to that first confession of hers that she did not help kody with that slashing and stabbing, and that you didn't hold the knife, that you didn't cut her. >> correct. >> so it reduced your culpability. >> yes. i'm not trying to diminish my actions or anything of what i
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did, but i won't take responsibility for something i did not do. >> frequently, as toni distanced herself from the crime, she looked through the glass to her mother especially when the question turned to why. i was too much in fear. i was scared, terrified. >> only reason she was there, insisted. she was an abused woman and she was afraid he'd kill her, too. >> when you're going through a type of abusive relationship you don't always fight back with your abuser. to be honest, i -- after finding out everything that i know now, i believe i was next. >> why would he kill you? >> because i was a witness and i
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was there with micaela. >> so why is mickey costanzo dead? you'd have to ask kody said toni fratto. >> i don't know his motive. i don't know. if i knew i'd be more than willing to, you know, come out and say why so it would make sense. >> was he just a lunatic or what? i mean -- >> i don't know. i don't have an answer for that. >> and when he says he doesn't know why, do you believe him? >> no. he's got to know why. there's a reason why he did this. >> was this version of her story finally the truth? perhaps, and in any event, mickey's family would have to be satisfied with what small cons le
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consolations toni fratto offered. >> i know sorry is not enough and if i could go back and protect her and make sure this wouldn't happen and everything that she would still be here today. >> do you see her face now in your mind's eye? >> in some places, yeah. >> you'll probably be seeing her for a long time. >> for the rest of my life. >> and with that, our interview ended, toni fratto never wavering from her story. the one she told when she cut the deal with the district attorney, the deal that could set her free as soon as 18 years from now, but of course, toni couldn't know, leaving here nor could we that one more little surprise was waiting. kody had said something very interesting just before toni took her deal. something buried deep in the court file, but now about to be revealed. [ male announcer ] the miraculous is everywhere.
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they for separate prisons now. kody patten at one end of the state, toni fratto the other. different stories about the murder, different sentences, too. toni fratto is 20 now, she'll have a chance at parole in her late 30s, but kody patten will die in prison. so in a way, this is an academic question, but there's one more version of the story of the murder of mickey costanzo which
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we found buried in the court file and it just might provide an answer. remember that plea deal kody first accepted and decided to pass on. here's the story behind that very dramatic moment. kody had just started making a sworn statement to the d.a., and was going to be a frank account of what really happened and why. here's how it began, he said. there was an incident the afternoon of the murder just down there at the school. toni confronted mickey in a school hallway. toni saw mickey in the hallway, said kody and called her a slut. said look at there, there's that slut. the girls argued, said kody and told kody, knock it off. plausible? may be. before anybody heard about kody's statement, mickey's sister d.j. told us this. toni really hated her. she'd walk by and toni would say
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something so rude under her breath. >> we're talking about a couple of years, though. >> the hatred in toni grew more and more and more, i don't know why, to tell you, but it just escalated. >> as kody told the d.a., it escalated to a fever that day and so he suggested, why don't you guys just talk it out? and toni agreed and said, she just wanted to duke it out with micaela, so i relayed the message to mickey and she wants to fight it out and mickey came to the resolution and said okay. so mickey did get into a car with him, voluntarily. they drove around for a while, said kody and they picked up toni and they all headed to the gravel pits and what did kody tell the d.a. about what happened there? well, it turned out, nothing because just then kody's attorney john olson arrived at the hearing and the two met,
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conferred briefly and kody stopped talking and changed his mind and rejected the plea deal and never told his story again and his statement was filed away, but olson who never disputed that kody was involved does have his own opinion about what probably happened at the gravel pits. >> my guess would be that there was an opportunity for toni to confront micaela. >> and they went out to to the desert to have the confrontation away from prying eyes. >> a bad idea that became a screw up. >> a bad idea that became a horrible idea. >> a bad idea that went very, very bad. was it an idea hatched on the spur of the moment? who knows? at least not according to d.j. who said she witnessed the hostility escalate for months. she heard toni bad-mouth mickey time and again and she saw toni play one nasty prank after another, including one that seemed like more than just a prank. >> he had a little box cutter
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blade and he swiped it across her arm, and at first she said i didn't even know and i looked down and i'm bleeding and i look at him and he's laughing. >> is that kind of the straw that broke the camel's back with her? that was. she said he's not worth it. and that i really n't want a person like that in my life at all. >> and from then on mickey avoided kody, never spoke to him, cut him out of her life. >> he grew really angry at her after that. would do things to try to make her mad, just so she'd talk to him. it was a real shock to him to all of a sudden have her there through thick and then and then never have her. >> an angry and abandoned kody, a jealous toni? maybe that's why mickey had been so worried said d.j. about what those two might be up to. >> she said he keeps trying to get me to go with him. he was constantly trying to get her --
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>> to get her to go out with him and toni. >> and she was fully aware that she was public enemy number one as far as toni was concerned. >> she just said i don't -- i don't get it. it's not right. something's just wrong. >> costanzo family said mickey would never have gone with kody and toni voluntarily and there is evidence of that. the zip tie found around mickey's arm. something else, mickey's family is convinced that toni and kody knew that the few days around the time of the murder were the only days they'd find mickey alone after school. >> the timing was too perfect. it was the one time, the one time that d.j. was at college. christina and donald were at nascar. i was at work. it's the one time in all of this time that micaela would have actually had to walk home. >> which when we heard that made
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us wonder in our interview did toni slip and reveal a hidden truth? remember, she claimed she was an abused woman and unwilling accomplice there only out of fear, but listen to this. does it indicate the very planning revealed in kody's statement to the d.a., planning that included picking a place for the showdown? >> when we finally got out to the designated area and everything -- >> what do you mean the designated area. >> where everything went down. >> that area was designated? >> well, just the area where we ended up. >> no plan to go there insisted, toni. so designated area, maybe, maybe not, but also a festering jealousy, scores of text messages, a zip tie and one more explosive ingredient, an affair. police revealed that kody had been seeing an older woman the very woman with whom he borrowed
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the suv used the night of the murder. toni knows that now, of course, that the other woman wasn't mickey, but did she know it then the night they killed her? >> a woman knows whether you're that age or my age you know something's maybe not right. who that person might be, i don't think she would have ever in a million years thought it was an adult so that the next person she, in her mind would think would be my daughter even though it's completely wrong. >> does that sound like toni was an abused woman obeying an angry boyfriend or a scorned woman determined to rid herself of the perceived rival? an unanswered question which is probably the best we'll get said attorney olson. >> outside of the participants who are outlined, nobody knows. nobody knows, and nobody's going to know.
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>> they're never going to reveal it. >> but then would any answer ever be good enough. >> i want the truth, will i ever get it in no. they'll never tell me and there's nothing they can say or do that will make it better. they cannot fix this. >> three families broken in west wendover. kody patten will never come home. toni fratto might some day, but too late for them. >> i don't think i will still be alive when she gets out. i don't think that there will be a time that we'll be together like that again. ♪ ♪ >> west wendover high school has retired mickey costanzo's basketball jersey. it hangs now in a place of honor. outside, the students got together to paint and sign a
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huge rock, a memorial in her favorite color. up in the high desert mountains, outside wendover is a ranch with the small family cemetery. it's a peaceful, sacred place where micaela costanzo, where mickey now rests. >> the ranch is home. she's exactly where she would want to have been. she's laying right next to my father, and she is in the most beautiful spot in the world to me. sho she's, like, sitting on top of the world. we all knew that my mom, myself, we'd all eventually be there, just not in the order that it seems to have happened. ♪ ♪
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♪ >> and here, on a little strip on i-80, wendover will still waves his grinning welcome, but he points to a place a little older now and sadder as if the neon lights turned up among the desert casinos had picked up a layer of grief. ♪ ♪ ♪ that's all for this edition of "dateline" friday. we'll see you again for "dateline sunday" at 7:00, 6:00 central and i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today." for now, i'm lester holt. for all of us at nbc news, good night. friends and family gather to remember a teenager found dead in lake tahoe. more than 11 years after her disappearance a new twist in the chandra levy murder.

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